Don’t tell John Patterson there’s anything wrong with RFK Stadium.
The right-hander will shoot for his third win of the season in the Nationals’ home park when Washington tries to complete a three-game sweep of the New York Mets.
Both of Patterson’s victories have come at RFK, including a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday. He allowed one run and struck out six over 6 2-3 innings to drop his home ERA to 0.44 in three outings.
However, Peterson might be alone in his warm feelings for the 56-year old stadium, especially after Washington’s rain-shortened 5-3 victory over the Mets on Saturday night.
RFK has had field problems throughout the first month of the season. Nationals manager Frank Robinson ejected shortly before the game was called in the eighth inning Saturday for arguing with the umpires for a stoppage due to poor field conditions.
He wasn’t alone in his incredulity that the game was being played during a constant downpour that waterlogged both the infield and outfield.
“It was definitely putting every player on the field in jeopardy of getting hurt,” said New York’s Cliff Floyd, whose three-run double in the eighth provided the Mets with their only offense.
“The outfield was horrible. You slip out there and hurt yourself, there’s nothing else to say: You’re on the 15-day disabled list.”
Pitchers have complained about the RFK mound, which is being rebuilt next week. There have been complications with the Nationals’ sharing the field with Major League Soccer club D.C. United.
The Nationals lost 2-1 to Atlanta on April 21 when Cristian Guzman made a throwing error in the ninth on a similarly muddy infield after hours of rain.
Washington’s Jose Vidro thought the conditions were worse Saturday.
“That was ridiculous. … A lot of us could have been hurt. People in our front office, they should think about—next time they know the rain is coming — calling off the game,” the second baseman said. “The draining is not the same as other fields, because this field is very old. This is something they need to work on.”
New York is hoping Aaron Heilman can prevent a season high-tying fifth straight loss.
The right-hander has been near-perfect at Shea Stadium this season, going 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA at his two starts. But he is 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in two road starts.